By 7 August 2014 | Categories: news


Recent events do not inspire faith in aviation, writes Deep Fried Man.

I’m not a very phobic person. I don’t see the point of being afraid of spiders or snakes while living in a city where by far the biggest threat to my survival is other human beings. While I have no tattoos and do not drive a motorbike (not because I’m scared, I promise, it’s because I’m intelligent), I like to think of myself as a pretty hardcore mother****er.

I will, however, come out and admit that I’m a bit scared of air travel. And now, as if my usual fear of the plane coming crashing down to earth is not enough, I now have to fear the plane getting shot down over Ukraine or, worse yet, simply disappearing into thin air. Recent events do not inspire faith in air travel.

I would argue that this is a rational fear. I have heard all the propaganda from the pro-plane lobby about how it’s the safest form of transportation, about how you’re way more likely to die in a car crash or die of scurvy while trying to traverse the globe at sea.  None of this rids me of the deep-seated conviction that an object of over 100 000 kg has no business flying around the skies like it thinks it’s a sparrow.

I also am not someone who will just blindly accept the rules of air travel. Tell me that I’m only allowed liquids under 100 ml and I will burn with rage. I do not want to throw my deodorant away because of Al-Qaeda. A quick glance through my CV should be enough to convince the most paranoid intelligence agent that I’m not a terrorist. And why does this only take place on international flights when 9/11 took place on a domestic flight? Why are we not allowed to bring sharp objects on board when everyone knows that any well-trained terrorist could hijack a plane using the knife they give you to eat your dinner with!

Airlines charge you a fortune and boss you around when you get there. Even domestically, there’s the airline who won’t let you on unless you have the credit card with which the booking was made, and the airline that hands me a R350 bill each way for the luxury of bringing my guitar along.

Add to that the fact that you are forced to sit, in a confined space through which no fresh air can be allowed to travel, with people hocking their lungs out as if they’re in the final stages of Ebola, and you have yourself one severely troublesome form of transport. The potential to disappear is the final straw.

I’m not a superstitious person, nor a religious one, but maybe the real reason for recent events is that God is offended by our arrogance. ‘I gave birds the ability to fly but tiny little useless birdy brains. I gave you massive intellectual capabilities but no wings and what do you do? Go ahead and learn to fly anyway. That’s just greedy’. I’m pretty sure that’s God’s opinion. I’m not sure that I disagree.

There is talk that I may go to London for work early next year. I better start walking now. 

Article first appeared in TechSmart 131, August 2014, available to download here


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